Historic England Voices Concerns About Proposals to Redevelop Liverpool Street Station, London
We remain very concerned about the emerging proposals to redevelop London’s Liverpool Street Station.
Network Rail and its development partner, Sellar, have shared their proposals for substantial new works to the existing station and the neighbouring Great Eastern Hotel, both listed buildings set within the heart of the City. We would still be looking to make a strong objection if such a scheme were taken forward to a planning application.
The proposed redevelopment of the station would have a severe impact on the Bishopsgate Conservation Area, and more widely on the extraordinary historic character of the City of London. The scheme would trample on the Former Great Eastern Hotel, which was recently upgraded to II*. The sheer bulk of development proposed above the station and the hotel is so large that it is likely to encroach on views of some of London’s great landmarks, including those of St Paul’s Cathedral protected under the London Views Management Framework.
The scheme includes improvements to railway infrastructure, but these are not comparable with recent successes at London Bridge, King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations, where the special heritage of various buildings has been showcased and celebrated. Unlike at those stations, the improvements offered by the scheme at Liverpool Street Station would only be achieved at heavy cost to the character of one of London’s most valued historic places.
Liverpool Street Station is one of London’s great Victorian stations, with a distinctive and special character. While we recognise the need for upgrades to the site so that it can better serve the millions of people that pass through its doors, these oversized and insensitive proposals are not the best solution to the site’s issues.
We believe that this scheme is fundamentally misconceived and misses the opportunity to unlock real public benefits while also enhancing the station’s heritage. At Historic England we are in favour of development where it secures a sustainable future for our best public and private buildings. This scheme does not. We continue to hope that collaboration with Network Rail and developers Sellar can achieve a better outcome for this special place.
Updated: 2 February 2023